Day 7 - Friday, and my last day at Rockies Gold 2007. I decided to head up US-50 to Grand Junction and then East on I-70 to ride the "Grand Mesa Loop" I left town at 7:30 as I headed North on 50 I couldn't help but notice that once again the Colorado Highway Patrol was out in force. I decided to once again modertate my speed so I took the full hour to reach Grand Juntion. I eventually made it to I-70 and after a quick 20 miles or so I saw the exit for CO-65 with a sign advertising "CO-65 The Grand Mesa Loop Scenic Byway".
The ride on I-70 had some pretty breath taking scenery too ---->
As I proceeded downCO-65 I was a little underwhelmed, as the road, while in good condition, wasn't particularyly scenic. There were some cliffs and some nice "S" curves, but it reminded me of a California highway with ranches all around.
That changed about 7 miles into the ride when the road started climbing, and as I entered the "Grand Mesa National Forest" the ride became quite beautiful.
Notice the highway down there? That's Co-65 before it starts up the hill!
Then I "Really" started climbing ---->
At the top it was dotted with lakes.
Going down the other side there were many secions of road just like this. Empty, and beautiful. --->
Now this is a nice highway! --->
Colorado Highway 65 eventually led me into Colorado-92 and the town of Delta where I turned right on US-50 and headed back to Montrose. That was some nice riding, and a ride I will do again. I actually saw a black bear lumber across the highway, but by the time I got my camera turned on and pointed in the right direction it was already gone. Maybe next time!
After a quick lunch back in town and a quick email check in the motel I decided I'd take a quick run up to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I visted this park in 2005 and thoroughly enjoyed it. This time around i only made a few stops as the weather was once again looking like it just might rain on me.
I really love this tree -- I've never seen the likes of it before --->
The Gunnison River down there in the bottom --->
I left the park and headed back to the motel and got my stuff together - ready for an early Saturday departure for Home. Friday night I went to the Chinese Biffet and pigged out. Then went back to the room and tried to get some sleep.
Saturday I said goodbye to Montrose and Rockies Gold - 2007. I rode back up US-50 to Westbound I-70. I-70 to I-15 all of the way into Las Vegas. I have to say that last 90 miles from Mesquite, Nv. to Las Vegas seemed like it took forever. Late afternoon in the Desert wearing full gear is something less than fum. I-70 in Utah is very beautiful - I didn't stop and take any pictures of it this time around, as it is well documented on this site already (look at the write up for "Six Days in May" and also the ride to pick up our trailer). Sunday I left Las Vegas and headed South and West through Mojave, Bakersfield and then North on I-5 to the I-580 junction. I was home by 5:00. Tired, happy, glad to have been a part of it, and looking forward to next year.
Over and Out.